Hazrat Shaikh Sayyid 'Abdul Qadir Jilani (R.A)
Shaikh Sayyid 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (1077 - 1166) was a noted Sunni Hanbali preacher, Sufi sheikh and the figurehead of the Qadiri Sufi order. He was born during Ramadan in 1078, in the Persian province of Gilan (Iran) south of the Caspian Sea. It is also called Kilan, thus, Abdul-Qadir al-Kilani is also another of his names. Gilani belongs to the spiritual chain of Junayd Baghdadi. His contribution to thought in the Muslim world earned him the title al-Gauth al Azam (the "Supreme Helper")
Raised by his mother and grandfather after his father's passing, Jilani was a descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad from both of his parents - his father was descended from Hasan while his mother was descended from Husayn. At the age of eighteen he went to Baghdad (1095), where he pursued the study of Hanbali law under several teachers. Abdul Qadir received lessons on Fiqh from Abu Ali al-Mukharrimi, Hadith from Abu-Bakar-bin-Muzaffar, and tafsir from the renowned commentator, Abu Muhammad Jafar.
In Sufism, his spiritual instructor was Shaikh Abu'l-Khair Hammad bin Muslim al-Dabbas. From him, he received his basic training, and with his help he set out on the spiritual journey.
After completion of education, Abdul Qadir Jilani abandoned the city of Baghdad, and spent twenty-five years as a wanderer in the desert regions of Iraq as a recluse. He was over fifty years old by the time he returned to Baghdad in 1127, and began to preach in public. He moved into the school belonging to his old teacher al-Mukharrimii, there he engaged himself in teaching. Soon he became popular with his pupils. In the morning he taught hadith and tafsir, and in the afternoon held discourse on mysticism and the virtues of the Qur'an.
He busied himself for forty years in the service of Islam from 521 to 561 AH. During this period hundreds of people converted to Islam because of him and organized several teams to go abroad for missionary purposes. He arrived in Indian sub-continent in 1128, and stayed at Multan, Pakistan.
He died on Saturday night 1166 (8th Rabi' al-Awwal 561AH on the Islamic calendar) at the age of eighty-nine years, and was entombed in a shrine within his Madrassa in Baghdad.
Some of Jilani's more well known works include:
- Al-Ghunya li-talibi tariq al-haqq wa al-din (Sufficient Provision for Seekers of the Path of Truth and Religion)
- Al-Fath ar-Rabbani (The Sublime Revelation)
- Malfuzat (Utterances)
- Futuh al-Ghaib (Revelations of the Unseen)
- Jala' al-Khatir (The Removal of Care)